14 May 2009
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Hazara Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE)
New York, USA
May 7, 2009
The Honorable Said T. Jawad
Ambassador of Afghanistan
2341 Wyoming Ave., NW
Washington, DC 2008
Re: Attack on historian Haji Kazim Yazdani
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
The Hazara Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE) together with concerned members of Hazara community in the United States are writing this letter to raise an urgent concern about Haji Kazim Yazdani, who was attacked recently in Kabul.
Haji Kazim Yazdani is a gifted Afghan historian who has written several books and articles about the Hazaras. He is a valuable scholar and a cultural treasure of the Afghan people in general and the Hazaras in particular. Lately, Haji Yazdani has been an outspoken opponent of “The Shia Family Law.”
In view of the controversy surrounding said archaic law, we would like to voice our concern and direct your attention to a growing atmosphere of religious fervor in the Hazara community in Kabul. We believe that attacks on Haji Yazdani and the offices of the Marefat High School bear symptoms of the aforementioned atmosphere of religious zeal and intimidation of those who oppose “The Shia Family Law.” Reports indicate that the chants and slurs used during these attacks bore similarity to the insults directed at the brave women who recently protested in front of the Afghan parliament against the ratification of said law. We have reasons to believe that the architects and supporters of “The Shia Family Law” are responsible for these attacks.
HOPE along with concerned members of Hazara community in the United States respectfully request and demand in the strongest manner possible:
1. That the Government of Afghanistan act immediately to stop the attacks on Hazara intellectuals.
2. That the Government of Afghanistan conducts a full, complete and impartial investigation, to bring to justice the perpetrators.
3. That the Government of Afghanistan act immediately to ensure that Haji Yazdani and other Afghan intellectuals are protected to the full extent possible. We insist that effective safety measures be undertaken to ensure their safety.
4. That the Government of Afghanistan act immediately to place pressure on the extremist factions who are behind these attacks.
Finally, we demand that the Government of Afghanistan take effective steps to protect the Hazara intellectuals from the religious fundamentalists who continually resort to acts of intimidation and terror to silence opposition and voices of dissent.